Friday's plan was to drive down to Madison and ride as much of the Ironman cycling course as I could. I left home at around 11:00am. The drive was approximately 4 hours, plus a stop for gas and some groceries.
I parked at the Kwik Trip near the corner of County Road M and Verona Road. It's a short distance from where the 'stick' portion of the course meets up with the 'loop' portion. See the blue dot below:
By the time I got changed in the Kwik Trip bathroom (an adventure in and of itself) it was already past 4pm. I had to get moving.
There was just one problem. I checked my handy-dandy Google Maps directions only to find that just every-other had printed. In other words, I had turns 1-4, 9-12, 17-20, etc.
At least I had a large map with the course outline. The only problem here was that most of the streets weren't marked. Ugh.
In any event, with a little luck, I was able to make it around the loop and was able to accomplish most of my goals:
Waved hello to a farmer on a tractor...check
Resisted desire to yell 'MOO!' at a cow...check
Rode the rolling hills up to Cross Plains and down Timber Road...check
Raced the sunset back into Verona...check
Make it back to the car before dark...check
If there was one thing I could say about the course, it's that you never really have time to get into cruising mode. There were no flat sections of road that lasted more than a mile or two. Most of the time you were either dealing with a steep climb or a screaming descent.
It reminded me of the rolling farm land I sure won't get bored with the course, but by the time I hit about the 50th rolling hill I had had enough with the terrain.
I have a feeling the best way to prepare for the bike leg is to spend as much time on the rollers as I can. They can wear on you after a while and I'll have to figure out a way to build up an immunity to the mental fatigue.
In the end, it was a good experience. Plus I was able to make it to the bachelor in time for mini-bowling and pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Heck yeah! Oh - and we had THIS for breakfast on Saturday: